Brendan Dolan targeting more glory after ending title drought
"It's absolutely brilliant. It's such a great feeling because when you go without a win for so long you start to doubt yourself."
By Josh Gorton
Last Updated: 14/08/19 4:26pm
Brendan Dolan clinched his first ranking title for almost five years in Hildesheim earlier this month and the Northern Irishman is hoping it will prove to be the catalyst for further success.
Dolan has slipped outside the world's top 32 over recent years, having previously reached the World Grand Prix final in 2011 before winning five ranking events between 2013 and 2014.
However, 'The History Maker' returned to the winner's circle in sensational style in Hildesheim, defeating a host of established stars to seal glory in Players Championship 22 - his first title since October 2014.
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"It's absolutely brilliant," Dolan told the Darts show podcast. "It's such a great feeling because when you go without a win for so long you start to doubt yourself. You know you can play well but maybe you just doubt your ability to win again.
"There are so many great players that haven't won and you don't want to be just one of those players taking part."
The 46-year-old performed superbly throughout the day, boasting a tournament average of 97.59 and defeating Jeffrey de Zwaan, Alan Norris, Chris Dobey, Dave Chisnall, Glen Durrant, Cody Harris and finally Jermaine Wattimena to seal the £10,000 top prize.
Dolan's last 16 display against Dave Chisnall was particularly eye-catching - the former Grand Prix finalist averaged 106.70 and won his six legs in 13, 11, 15, 15, 12 and 15 darts as he edged out 'Chizzy' in an epic last-leg decider.
It was made all the more remarkable when you consider his performance the previous day. The Northern Irishman suffered an opening round defeat against Belgium's Ronny Huybrechts, who prevailed despite averaging a miserly 77.
Following his early exit on Saturday, Dolan revealed that he felt like quitting the game but a conversation with his wife Teresa who told him to 'wise up' sparked his incredible revival just 24 hours later.
"It definitely was a wake-up call," Dolan admitted.
"Basically she just took the pressure off my shoulders. I was just so worried - so many times I was heading away and not coming back with anything at all, and that weekend I had failed to qualify for the two European [events].
"I had such a bad display on the Saturday, I was just doubting my ability to win any game. Ronny [Huybrechts] was playing poorly this season as well and it wasn't a great performance by him which is worse again.
"If somebody beats you off the board you don't mind, but when someone is not playing well you definitely doubt your ability to get across the winning line again. I was feeling sorry for myself and I spoke to Teresa and she just told me to wise up.
"Someday it's going to happen she said because of the amount of time and effort you're putting in now compared to what you had been, the way you're playing in practice, it's going to come good someday. She just said we'll wait for that day."
Dolan showed signs of a resurgence with his run to the World Championship quarter-finals in December, which featured wins over Joe Cullen, Mervyn King and Benito van de Pas before he succumbed to Nathan Aspinall in the last eight.
However, his sixth Pro Tour title has catapulted him back into the world's top 40 and he insists that his latest triumph has given him the belief that he can add to his haul of titles.
"I definitely believe now that I have the wins inside me. Not only did I win it, but I think I deserved to win it. My performances over the whole day were good, better than my opponents all the time, they were of a very high standard.
"The winner the day before was Krzysztof Ratajski - he's playing brilliantly at the minute. I averaged four points higher than him over the whole day which tells me I've got a game still left in me," he added.
"It's there for anyone that is willing to take it by the scruff of the neck, believe in themselves and push really hard."
Dolan on strength in depth within the PDC..
"It gives me a lot of confidence, a lot of belief and why do I want to stop at six Pro Tour wins?
"Why not just keep going and start getting on the winning run again, not sit back like I did the last time when I got as high as number 10 in the world, but keep working at the game because everybody else is and I'm not any extra special that I don't have to work.
"Even Michael [van Gerwen] is suffering a bit at the minute and is getting beat. The standard is so even now. It's there for anyone that is willing to take it by the scruff of the neck, believe in themselves and push really hard."
Dolan's victory in Germany has also boosted his chances of qualifying for October's World Grand Prix.
He now sits just under £7,000 behind Dimitri Van den Bergh and Vincent van der Voort, who occupy the final two provisional places, with seven events remaining before the cut-off on September 22nd.
Dolan's best PDC major results
World Championship - Quarter-Finals
World Matchplay - Last 16
World Grand Prix - Finalist
UK Open - Quarter-Finals
Grand Slam - Quarter-Finals
European Championship - Semi-Finals
The World Cup semi-finalist has fond memories of the CityWest hotel, having landed the tournament's first nine-darter in 2011 en route to reaching the final, although he's keen to create new memories in Dublin.
"The problem is I call myself the 'History Maker' and it definitely is history - it's definitely that long ago since it happened," Dolan quipped.
"It's a lovely feeling to have been the first person to ever hit a nine-darter Double in Double out. It's just great to have that to my name. It's a fond place of mine, I get great support there and the dream is to get back in and be a regular at the Grand Prix.
"I have an outside chance this year, there are still seven tournaments left to qualify for it. I'm on the crest of a wave now after a bit of confidence and hopefully a couple of good runs in the next three or four tournaments might get me in."
Join us for coverage of the World Grand Prix from Dublin. The unique Double in, Double out format will be held from October 6-12 at the Citywest Hotel, live on Sky Sports Action.